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No success in convening Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk format — Russia’s OSCE envoy

November 19, 2014, 15:02 UTC+3
The Minsk format is the “most acceptable” for developing tools to settle the crisis in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE, Andrey Kelin, underlines
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© AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov

VIENNA, November 19. /TASS/. The effort to convene a meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine crisis in the Minsk format has been so far unsuccessful, Russia’s permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Andrey Kelin said on Wednesday.

“There were contacts in the line of the Contact Group, but we have failed so far to convene the meeting,” Kelin said.

The diplomat stressed that the Minsk format is the “most acceptable” for developing tools to settle the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

“This is a format which involves the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), this is very important,” Kelin said. “I cannot imagine how to replace it,” he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday that the Minsk peace process is the only format for today which allows a “direct dialogue” between Kiev and the southeast.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19 in Minsk, which outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The nine-point document in particular stipulates a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

Representatives of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of issues related to the ceasefire regime have completed delimitation in east Ukraine, Russian Permanent Representative at the OSCE Andrey Kelin said. However, talks on this disengagement line between conflicting parties are only in view in concrete localities, he added.

“Delimitation is under way. Military have drawn a disengagement line from which distances for military hardware withdrawal will be set,” he said. “This work should be finalized,” Kelin said, adding that “Conflicting parties in concrete localities should be talked into this line being determined correctly."



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